How Do We Know? Series

Original title: Comment sait-on ?

Publication Date:

June 2022



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French




  • Prix "Le goût des sciences" 2023 for THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS (finalist)

How Do We Know? Series

Original title: Comment sait-on ?


For more than 30 years, Sciences Humaines, faithful to its intellectual project, to its spirit of synthesis and clarity, has continued independently, against all odds, to promote reason, knowledge, general culture, pedagogy, the defence of humanism and to promote a pluralist and enlightened debate.

Today, it is with children that we wish to share our knowledge, in order to give them the tools to make them aware of the scientific spirit and to show them how knowledge is built, through experiments, observations, investigations, but also in how to fight against disinformation.

These books, aimed at children aged 8 to 11, are written in close collaboration with scientists and richly illustrated to be as accessible as possible.

THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS – June 2022 – 56 pp.

In the countryside as well as in the city, they whistle, chirp and coo around us. Whether they are looking for a mate, protecting their nest or calling their young, birds sing and are an integral part of our daily lives. This documentary aims to introduce children to the world of ornithology and ethology, but also to enable them to understand how science works, what it is based on (hypotheses, studies, experiments, conclusions, research) and to raise their awareness of ecology by showing them the impact of humans on these happy and often surprising companions.


  • To each his own singing
  • Let’s unravel the mystery of bird song
  • Why do birds sing?
  • Birds sing for love
  • Birds sing to defend their nests
  • Birds sing to warn of danger
  • “Mummy where are you?”
  • How do birds sing?
  • How do birds make themselves heard?
  • How do birds learn to sing?
  • Can birds learn other songs?
  • Do birds sing differently in different countries?
  • Alex the smartest parrot in the world
  • Focus on the robin
  • Birds are dinosaurs
  • Will bird song disappear?
  • Will we ever be able to talk to birds?
  • You too can study birds!

7 INVESTIGATIONS ON HISTORY – June 2022 – 56 pp.

Children often wonder how such ancient facts can be told with certainty. This book will answer their questions by exploring seven themes:


  • Where did humans come from?
  • Did Julius Caesar really exist?
  • How did the knights fight?
  • Who was the emperor of Mâli?
  • Who were the pirates really?
  • World War I: what did women do?
  • Men have walked on the Moon.

Both books have been written and illustrated by:

Hélène Frouard is a historian who worked for 10 years at the CNRS as a researcher before becoming a science journalist. She is a member of the Association of Scientific Journalists of the Information Press (AJSPI) and her articles are aimed at both adults (Sciences Humaines, Prescrire, Ciel&Espace, etc.) and young people (Okapi, Histoire junior).

Marie Dortier has been a graphic designer and illustrator for more than ten years. She works mainly in the publishing and press sector (Bayard Jeunesse, Eyrolles, Sciences Humaines, Enrick B Éditions, etc.).

THE ANIMALS AND US – November 2022 – 56pp.

Humans and all animals inhabit the Earth, but the human species imposes its development model and its choices, in a cohabitation that is sometimes harmonious, but often painful for the other species.

For a long time, Homo sapiens felt so different from animals that he thought he was superior to them, and it was only in the 18th century that science taught him again that he was one of them.

It is therefore in the knowledge that he is only an animal among animals that Man continues to enslave them, to raise them to eat them, to use them for his own needs and pleasure, to destroy them, voluntarily or not.

But we will also see how much Man loves to be surrounded by pets, and that with some he shares all his privileges, as he would with his own children. We will see that he is also capable of guaranteeing protected areas for wildlife.

This book, which is aimed at children, invites them to take the measure of this indestructible link that unites humans and animals.

This book has been written by Bruno Poissonnier, a writer whose career has been kept at an equal distance from nature and literature, draws on the knowledge of researchers and ethologists in this book devoted to animals and their relationship with Sapiens, from prehistory to the anti-speciesism that some people proclaim today.

Marie Dortier will also illustrate this book.


  • A little history: The hunter-gatherers
  • Sedentarisation and the beginning of animal exploitation
  • Evolution
  • Domestic animals vs. wild animals
  • The animal as food
  • The use of animals in science
  • The animal as a tool
  • The animal as a source of entertainment
  • The animal as a healing aid
  • Protecting animals. Rights and duties

WHAT IS LIFE? – April 2023 – 56 pp

On Earth, life is everywhere.
We are surrounded by life: the moss on the trees, the flowers, the insects, the microbes, Bubbles the goldfish, the birds in the sky, the neighbour’s dog… my best friend.
Thanks to microscopes, scientists have discovered that tiny life is swarming in the water, in the sand, in the earth, and even in us.
Life is everywhere, but what is life? How does a cell work? An organism? These are questions that researchers have been asking themselves for a long time. They don’t have all the answers, but they have made great discoveries that we will explain to you in this book.

Jean-François Dortier invites children to understand what life is, how it works and why it is important to protect it.


•  Life is everywhere, but what is life?
•  What are the different forms of life?
•  How did life evolve?
•  What is a plant?
•  What is an animal?
•  How is a living being constructed?
•  How does a cell work?
•  How does our body work?
•  Is life on earth under threat?
•  Are we alone in the universe?

WHAT IS DEATH? – April 2023 – 56 pp

On Earth, life is everywhere.
Trees, flowers, fish, birds, butterflies, humans.
Even tiny creatures, such as bacteria, are living beings.
What is life? It means being born, breathing, eating, growing, having children (or not), growing old and one day… dying. Trees, flowers, fish, birds, butterflies or humans, everything that lives eventually dies. Life and death are linked. There is no life without death. No death without life.
From the Egyptians to the Champs Élysées, from Paradise to Nirvāna, via zombies, Jean-François Dortier shows children how humans have serenely envisaged the afterlife…


•  What is life? What is death?
•  And afterwards? What is there?
•  The Egyptians go to the afterlife
•  The heaven and hell of the Christians
•  What if we were reincarnated?
•  I want to be immortal!
•  Zombies, ghosts and spirits
•  What happens to the body?
•  Remembering those who have disappeared